Robert Thornhill
Lady Justice and the Broken Hearts


Lady Justice and the Broken Hearts

    Walt goes under the knife for a heart operation and while in the hospital, stumbles upon a series of mysterious deaths that are certainly not from natural causes.

    He solves that mystery only to discover that people on the transplant waiting list are suddenly dying as well.

    Then, information about a terrorist plot is found on a heart attack victim who has been rushed to the ICU.

    Throughout it all, Walt discovers that there are many ways that a person may die of a broken heart.

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    The darkness was impenetrable.

    I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t swallow. I was choking and trying desperately to claw at whatever it was that had been crammed down my throat. I heard voices and felt hands restraining me as I fought to clear whatever was preventing me from taking a breath.

    I had never experienced such an overwhelming sense of panic --- then it was gone and there was nothing but darkness.

    Suddenly, it was all back just like before, the choking and the panic as I fought to breathe, and the utter despair as the hands held me in check. There were more voices and then again, nothing but darkness.

    My next sensation was foggy confusion as I opened my eyes in unfamiliar surroundings. Then I saw my precious wife, Maggie, standing at my bedside with her hands on my arm and it all came back to me --- I had just had my chest cracked open and the mitral valve in my heart repaired.

    “Is --- is it over?”

    She smiled and patted my arm. “All over and you did just fine. As soon as the surgery was over, the doctor came out and told us that he was able to repair your valve and you didn’t have to have a replacement.”

    “How long was I out?”

    Maggie rolled her eyes. “The actual operation took about two and a half hours.”

    That’s when I noticed for the first time that my hands were covered with soft mitts that looked like miniature boxing gloves. “What in the world?”

    “We had a bit of a problem getting you breathing on your own,” she replied, removing the mitts. They tried twice to remove your breathing tube, but had to put you back under. You were fighting and clawing at the tube so they had to cover your hands.”

    I vividly remembered the panic I had felt when I couldn’t breathe.

    “They said you wouldn’t remember a thing.”

    “Well they were wrong! I remember it all and it wasn’t pleasant. What time is it?”

    Maggie looked at her watch. “A little past nine.”

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “So I’ve been out over twelve hours?”

    She nodded.

    “And you’ve been there beside me the whole time?”

    She nodded again. “I couldn’t leave the most precious thing in my life. Would you like to see your incision?”

    “Sure, why not,” I replied, wondering how that was going to happen. I figured my entire torso would be swaddled in bandages.

    She gently held open my gown and I took a peek. There wasn’t so much as a band-aid in sight and got my first look at the six inch incision that would be with me the rest of my life.

    I laid my head back on my pillow and breathed a sigh of relief. The first part of my ordeal was over and now it was time to begin the second part --- the months of healing and rehab that would be needed to make my seventy-one year old body 100% whole again.